Finding the right employees is critical when running a successful quick service restaurant (QSR). Employees are the face of your business and play a vital role in delivering excellent customer service.

Quick service restaurant hiring can be challenging, but you can find the best-qualified candidates by following these tips.

1.) Hire People With the Right Personality

Portrait of a man working behind the counter of a cafe. Symbolizing employee retention

Hourly workers don’t necessarily need experience to be great at their jobs because QSRs can teach Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). However, what cannot be taught is personality. During the QSR hiring process, look for best-fit candidates with great personalities that fit well with your QSR’s company culture.

Look for potential candidates with the following attributes:


When looking for QSR employees, the most important quality to look for is a passion for food and customer service. QSRs succeed or fail based on their ability to provide fast, friendly service and great food, so it’s essential to find team members who fit that description. 

There are a few key indicators that a potential employee is passionate about food preparation and customer service. First, see if they have any experience working in the food industry. This shows that they know what it takes to work in a QSR.


Second, note how they interact with you during the interview process. Are they friendly and engaging? Do they seem interested in the role? Finally, ask them what their favorite QSR is and why. This will give you insight into their thoughts on customer service and food quality. If they can’t answer these questions satisfactorily, they may not be the right fit for your QSR.


When it comes to QSR customer service, employees need to be assertive. This means they’re not afraid to upsell customers or ask them for their feedback. Assertiveness is vital in QSRs because it helps ensure that customers have a positive experience and are more likely to return.

The best way to assess assertiveness is to give candidates a role-playing exercise during the interview. For example, you could have them pretend to upsell a menu item to a customer. If they can do it confidently and without hesitating, they’re probably assertive enough for the job.


Finally, QSR employees need to be positive. This doesn’t mean they have to be bubbly and outgoing all the time, but they should be pleasant and helpful when interacting with customers. QSRs can be high-pressure environments, so it’s important to find team members who can stay calm under pressure and handle customer complaints with a smile.

2.) Conduct Thorough Interviews

Manager conducting exit interview in a coffee shop

The interview process is essential to finding the right employees in the QSR hiring process. During the interview, pay close attention to the candidate’s body language, eye contact, and vocal tone. These nonverbal cues will tell you a lot about a person’s personality and whether they’re being truthful.

By asking the right questions, you can better understand who the candidate is as a person and whether they’re a good fit for your QSR.

Here are a few examples:

  • What made you decide to apply for this position? This question will help you determine if the candidate is genuinely interested in the role or if they’re looking for any job.
  • What do you know about our QSR? This question will show how much research the candidate has done on your business.
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses? This question will help you know the candidate personally and see if they’re self-aware. It’s essential to find part-time and full-time team members who are aware of their strengths and weaknesses and are constantly working to improve.

3. Contact Former Employees and Applicants

Bubble icons symbolizing communication between employees and managers

Another great way to find qualified QSR employees is to contact former employees and applicants. Former employees will already have experience working in a QSR and be familiar with your QSR’s culture, so they’ll be less likely to need training. And since they’ve already worked for you, you’ll know they can do the job.

Applicants who didn’t get the job can also be great sources of candidates. Just because they weren’t the right fit for one position doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be perfect for another. And since they’ve already gone through the interview process, you’ll know they’re interested in working for your QSR.

4. Do a Trial Shift

KFC fast food cashier in drive thru service waring hygiene face mask to protect coronavirus pandemic or covid-19 virus outbreak is giving money change to customer.

After interviewing candidates and narrowing down your choices, it’s time to do a trial shift. This will allow you to see how the potential team member interacts with customers and handles the job’s demands. It’s also a good opportunity for the candidate to ensure they’re comfortable with the QSR environment.

5. Don’t Forget About Retention

Magnet and figures of people symbolizing staff turnover rate and employee retention

Once you’ve found the perfect employees, it’s essential to focus on retention. QSRs have high turnover rates, so it’s important to do what you can to keep your team members happy. Offer competitive pay and benefits, career growth opportunities, and create a positive work environment.

How HourWork Helps Quick Service Restaurant Hiring Managers Retain Top Candidates


If you’re looking for a QSR hiring solution to help you retain top candidates, look no further than HourWork. Our platform makes it easy to keep in touch with former employees and applicants so you can quickly find and hire the best candidates.

We also offer a variety of features to help quick service restaurant hiring managers retain their team members, including:

  • A comprehensive onboarding process that automates messaging new employees during their first 90 days of employment. This helps ensure they receive the right communication about training and other topics.
  • Regular check-ins and pulse surveys to see how employees feel about their QSR and job. This data-driven approach helps you identify at-risk employees early so you can take action to keep them on your team.

We’re here to help you find the best employees for your QSR fast food restaurant and keep them on your team for the long haul. Get in touch to discuss your QSR hiring and retention needs.